About this Show

NOW With Alex Wagner

News/Business. Alex Wagner. Forces driving the day's stories. New.

NETWORK

DURATION
01:00:00

RATING

SCANNED IN
San Francisco, CA, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Virtual Ch. 787 (MSNBC HD)

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
1920

PIXEL HEIGHT
1080

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Wayne Lapierre 12, Boehner 12, Benghazi 9, Luke 6, Us 5, Lyrica 5, John Kerry 4, Karen 4, Iran 4, Sam Stein 4, Clinton 4, Afghanistan 4, Newtown 3, Geico 3, Washington 3, Nra 3, Maggie 3, U.s. 3, Luke Russert 3, Menendez 3,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  MSNBC    NOW With Alex Wagner    News/Business. Alex Wagner.  
   Forces driving the day's stories. New.  

    January 23, 2013
    9:00 - 10:00am PST  

9:00am
excuse me, sir i'm gonna have to ask you to power down your little word game. i think your friends will understand. oh no, it's actually my geico app...see? ...i just uh paid my bill. did you really? from the plane? yeah, i can manage my policy, get roadside assistance, pretty much access geico 24/7. sounds a little too good to be true sir. i'll believe that when pigs fly. ok, did she seriously just say that? geico. just click away with our free mobile app. capitol hill, locust of dysfunction, hall of smoke and mirrors, and ground zero for a difference of opinions. it is wednesday, january 23rd, and this is "now." joining me today, msnbc
9:01am
political analyst and former dnc communications director karen finney. senior political reporter at politico, maggie haberman. and mr. sunday morning himself, we say it so officially here, editor of "the new york times" magazine, hugo lindgren. sam stein is caught on a train somewhere between newark and penn station. moving on, what started as praise for secretary clinton's tenure as secretary of state soon evolved into a partisan debate with republicans demanding to know if the administration misled the american public over benghazi. >> we were misled there were supposedly protests and something sprang out of that, assaults sprang out of that. that was easily ascertained that was not the fact, and the american people could have known that within days, and they didn't know that. >> with all due respect, the fact is we had four dead americans. was it because of protests or guys out on a walk one night decided to kill some americans. what difference, at this point, does it make?
9:02am
it is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again. >> surprising exactly no one, senator john mccain was still demanding answers. >> the american people deserve to know answers, and they certainly don't deserve false answers. people don't bring rpgs and mortars to spontaneous demonstrations. here we are, four months later, and we still don't have the basic information. >> but the harshest criticism of all came from paul legacy, senator rand paul, whose ambitions and disrespect seem to know no bounds. >> i'm glad you're accepting responsibility, i think ultimately with you leaving you're accepting responsibility for the worst tragedy since 9/11, and i really mean that. had i been president at the time and found you did not read the cables from benghazi, did not read the cables from ambassador
9:03am
stevens, i would have removed you from your post. >> it felt senator dick durbin to remind the chamber about actual failures and coverups. >> i do want to make one point for the record here about whether the american people are told everything right away, in the right way, so that they can be fully informed, and i'd like to refer to five words for them to reflect on, "iraqi weapons of mass destruction." >> joining us now from washington to discuss benghazi and beyond, former assistant secretary of state, p.j. crowley. p.j., i will tell you, i began the day saying i was interested in the hearings, but did not know they would turn into must-see tv, which they certainly did around 10:00 this morning. i wonder what your thoughts were in particular between republicans in the senate and hillary clinton. >> well, i'm particularly struck
9:04am
by rand paul's, yeah, suggesting that the secretary of state, secretary of defense, president of the united states, will know every single detail of every dangerous situation that's going on within a broad and complex government. i know he's run a health clinic before, but, obviously, he hasn't run a multifaceted global organization. >> karen, you worked for hillary clinton. she was nothing, if not, defiant this morning. how -- what was your read on her pushback, what difference does it make as far as the sort of tick tock on when the administration admitted there were protests or no protests. >> what struck me was that when she testified on health care when she was first lady, it was clear very quickly she knew more about the subject matter than the questions. that seemed to be true with the republicans. rand paul is all about 2016 and ron johnson had his talking points he wanted to get in, and
9:05am
she doesn't suffer fools, particularly on something like this, where i think as you saw at the beginning, it's personal. this is a big deal. this is very serious. this shouldn't be about, you know, the talking points that we were talking about back during the campaign. this should be about how do we move forward, particularly given i think we now can see sort of a bigger picture of what's happening in north africa between mali and algeria and have a bigger understanding of whether or not that may or may not have played a role in what was unfolding. >> right. well, there is the actual foreign policy piece, then there's the partisan ranker. maggie, before this began, we were looking at hillary clinton's approval ratings. 67% favorable, 26% unfavorable, 6% no opinion. we don't know if she's running for office in 2016, right? but certainly, some of this criticism, some of this questioning, is perhaps directing at poking some holes in the clintonian armor, if you will. >> perhaps. i would go there.
9:06am
no, i think that's absolutely right. i think the issue about benghazi, when it initially began, was a way at getting at obama through hillary clinton, right, during the campaign, but it then evolved into something else that was about her for exactly that purpose. if the idea today was to ding her up memorably going into 2016, i don't think that was accomplished. rand paul did what he was supposed to do, it will make his base happy. it will not sway any votes. if i saw correctly, 37% of republicans approve of her. for her, that is not terrible. i mean, she has always been a pretty polarizing figure. she is leaving state department with, as you say, incredibly high approval ratings, and i don't think today did anything to change that trajectory. >> one of the pieces of sound we've played on this network and will continue to be played and will play right now, the moment hillary talks about the caskets coming home. it recalled a memory i have of
9:07am
the president when he was issuing the defense in the debate about how much this mattered in the administration and the contention that somehow this wasn't a big deal for them. let's play that sound, then i'd like to get your thoughts on that. >> as i have said many times, i take responsibility, and nobody is more committed to getting this right. for me, this is not just a matter of policy, it's personal. i stood next to president obama as the marines carried those flag-draped caskets off the plane at andrews. i put my arms around the mothers and fathers, the sisters and brothers, the sons and daughters, and the wives left alone to raise their children. >> i thought that was probably the most moving moment of that entire hearing, but what did you think in terms of what maggie's talking about with regards to hillary, her legacy, her role in the national stage? >> well, i mean, i think it's impressive and genuine, and i think karen mentioned what hillary was like years ago in
9:08am
the health care debates, and there was something sort of cold and know it all-ish about her back then. there's something more empathetic, but tough. >> well prepared, knows her job, knows the facts, knows what happened, able to talk about it far better than what we saw from the republicans. >> just a very formidable opponent, no matter what the issue is. she was both prepared, and she always didn't take the bait. even though she responded personally a number of times, she also was in control. i think there were some just blatant efforts to trip her up. i think we're going to see a lot of that. i think she did well. >> responded tenaciously. p.j., i want to ask you about the actual foreign policy implications here, right? imagine that. imagine that, not just rand paul's chances in 2016. but, you know, here we have a debate -- the republicans have, in large part, not been able to take ground back from the democrats on the issue of national security, and really in terms of, you know, elucidating
9:09am
a foreign policy stance that is measurably different than the democrats. we haven't really seen one, and i guess, you know, with the exception of john mccain, joe scarborough suggested today that neoconservative idea may be expiring for the republican party. that is thrown into sharp relief when you have something like benghazi, when i guess the call is for a greater presence overseas if you're a member of the right. >> i also would express caution about this idea of never again. i mean, if our objective here is that never should we put a diplomat or a soldier in harm's way, then that means that they are hiding behind bunkers somewhere. and the fact is, that we have, you know, embassies and consulates and as we had in benghazi, unofficial, you know, diplomatic presences in very dangerous post-conflict societies. and that's what chris stevens was there to do. he knew the dangers, but he understood benghazi, understood the dynamic there had larger importance, you know, to the
9:10am
future of libya. and he did, you know, assume the risk, understanding, you know, what that risk was. and that's the conundrum here, that an ambassador who in a very tough neighborhood or tough environment of a particular country has to carefully weigh security, but also has to get outside the bunker, get beyond the walls and do their jobs. and i think the reality of what hillary clinton calls expeditionary diplomacy is we are turning back large numbers of military forces, but that puts more onus and more responsibility on the diplomats and experts that will remain in a libya or will remain in an afghanistan or an iraq after the troops have left. >> karen, hillary's hearing comes the day before john kerry is supposed to begin hearings as secretary of state.
9:11am
"the economist," writes a tone of cool detachment has been his foreign policy hallmark, present but not deeply involved. how much do you think john kerry in the wake of this foreign policy discussion that, let's be honest, is not often had. we focus a lot on domestic affairs. there's not been a lot of pressure, i think, on the president to verbalize what he wants to do as far as america's role in the national stage. how much of this hearing is going to filter through to john kerry's hearing to sort of give us an outline? >> i think absolutely in kerry's hearing, again, this is going to be more aimed at president obama to try to get kerry on the record with some commitments about particularly iran and some of the other conflicts around the world. i think one of the reasons, and this has been talked about, that the president likes john kerry and his position and likes chuck hagel, if we're talking about iran, talking about algeria, talking about a fragile state in south africa, we have to be
9:12am
really careful how we engage, because it's easy to say, let's bomb iran, send troops. where are we going to get those troops and how can we afford to do that? not the least of which, how do we know that doesn't turn into a quagmire of another ten years, another 4,000 people dead. as much as they criticize the president for this leaving behind, what you'll hear from kerry, and this is the administration's position, we have to be tough, but we have to be thoughtful so we don't end up like we are right now in afghanistan with a mess on our hands. >> i think what karen says is interesting, because behind a lot of the republicans' critique of how the state department handled this is the idea there's a button hillary could have pressed that the black ops guys could have been there if only she had been on it. i think it's related to, like, the get tough on iran and this kind of, like, this omnipotent u.s. force we have at our disposal. i think that's a troublesome sort of image that is out there
9:13am
and that is talked about in a way that's really unrealistic. >> there are two separate issues, though, there are legitimate questions about benghazi, whether hillary clinton was aware of the details of security requests, and that was, obviously, the subject of the hearing. there's a different issue, and you just touched on it, the republicans are feeling their way on foreign policy. the president has not been pushed hard on this, in part because mitt romney forfeited opportunities on this front. >> on so many fronts. >> during the campaign, so this is an area where in many respects, republicans are still figuring out who their leader is, what the party looks like, you know, going into now five years post-george w. bush, this is an important front. >> i think they are also recognizing we are dealing with a very different national security defense. you heard leon panetta talking about the light footprint, having a smaller footprint, like in columbia, we're there for a long period of time, but there's
9:14am
a complement between resources, troops, embassies, the different kinds of people we need to help and the endeavors and the republicans haven't quite figured out how to talk about that. gone are the days we're going to have these, you know, big signing ceremonies on a ship in the middle of the ocean when our opponent surrenders. that's not what war is anywhere. >> that's what the hagel hearing is. >> before we go, in terms of what this has done is brought to the fore the importance of our diplomatic core overseas. at the same time, there's questions about funding, keeping them behind barracks or having them out in the world and the risks entailed there. i wonder how much you think this sort of changes the dynamic in terms of, you know, who we have, where we place them, how much funding we give them. >> i mean, that's a really essential question. i thought senator menendez and senator corker at the end of the hearing did have some forward-looking takeaways and did acknowledge that resource s
9:15am
aren't the only thing here, senator menendez said the state department has to be mission driven. that's crucial. what do you want our diplomats to do, where do you want them to be, what's the modern environment and what resources do they need to carry out that task? right now, we have this political environment where there is a significant constituency for the defense department, and rightfully so. as we leave afghanistan, i think we have to understand that as we eliminate requirements in iraq or afghanistan for the military standpoint, we're actually adding to requirements on the diplomatic and development standpoint. we have to make sure our diplomats have the resources they need, so there a mission-driven entity, as senator menendez said, and not a resource-constrained entity. >> p.j. crowley, speaking the truth, as always. thank you for your time and wisdom, my friend. after the break, the white house gives john boehner a blessing to push through a
9:16am
temporary suspension of the debt ceiling, but will republicans fall in line? we'll discuss the gop's deficit dilemma when luke russert joins us next on "now." jenna shared her recipe with sharon,
9:17am
9:18am
who emailed it to emily, who sent it to cindy, who wondered why her soup wasn't quite the same. the recipe's not the recipe... ohhh. [ female announcer ] ...without swanson. the broth cooks trust most when making soup. mmmm! [ female announcer ] the secret is swanson. mmmm! itbut sleep train's huge foyear eends sunday. salels, get beautyrest, posturepedic, even tempur-pedic mattress sets at low clearance prices.
9:19am
save even more on floor samples, demonstrators, and closeout inventory. plus, free same-day delivery, set-up, and removal of your old set. don't wait, sleep train's year end clearance sale ends sunday. superior service, best selection, lowest price, guaranteed. ♪ sleep train ♪ your ticket to a better night's sleep ♪ today, the house is expected to pass a bill that would suspend the debt ceiling for three months with only republican support. in an about-face, speaker boehner is taking up the democratic position and urging his party not to fight over the debt ceiling. could it be that the spirit of compromise is visiting boehner's rightward flank?
9:20am
no. here's the fine print. rather than raise the debt ceiling, the bill temporarily suspends it. meaning a vote will be held at some future point to determine whether to pay off the debt retroactively. secondly, this is a larger scheme to move the battle over the deficit and spending to a place where the republicans feel they have more leverage. the gop hashed plans for a republican revolution. politico report s speaker john boehner, using paul ryan as his salesman, urged his members to make their stand on the budget and sequesters. jake sherman writes, in roughly 48 hours, the republicans went from defense to offense and retreated to the debt ceiling must be matched by spending cuts. it was the swiftest and most drastic position switch in boehner's speakership. it was not lost on kevin mccarthy who said, "what they'll
9:21am
say after that vote, this is the day of the comeback." maybe if comeback also conotes fractious and uncertain strategy. with no democratic support, the way could go the way of boehner's plan b if just seven republicans break rank. and they still have to contend with the rightward flank. >> you wouldn't believe the number of conservative commentators, hey, you know what, we're going to have to start backing off obama, he's not really a bad guy, not a socialist marxist, he's just a chicago thug. we're becoming isolated on an island here, it's very small. it's a drift out in the middle of nowhere. >> joining us now to discuss this is the sage of capitol hill, nbc's luke russert. luke, it never stops being -- >> how are you? >> i'm great. i'm great. >> thanks for quoting jake sherman. he's a good american. way to quote him on the intro. >> you're welcome. luke, we know that nothing is secure when it comes to the
9:22am
house republican caucus. there is no deal until there's actually a deal. we hear that the vote on the debt ceiling is supposed to take place in this hour some time between 12:30 and 1:00. is it going to come to the floor? does john boehner have the votes? >> from where i stand right now, from my latest conversation with aides, they say they are moving in the right direction and they are confident they have the votes for this to pass. if it goes to the floor, they'll definitely have the votes. however, i urge caution, because even though this plan seems to have the support of the president, seems to be receptive -- harry reid seems to be receptive, you never quite know because of the 17 chuckle heads, known by more modest members, what they could do. i spoke to a few of them, and they said this is not a logical solution, because we need to have real deep spending cuts in order to extend the debt limit under any possible solution. the short answer of your question is, we expect this one
9:23am
to go through. there's been more optimism than there was during the fiscal cliff saga from gop leadership folks, but with this house gop conference, it's not over until it's over. we'll see here in the next half hour. >> luke, there's some channelling of bob marley going on in the capitol, which is to say, no woman, no cry. no budget, no pay. tell us a little about that interesting writer to this bill. >> you know, it's an interesting idea that was attached here, which really comes from no label, that group with david walker, and actually jim cooper, a blue dog member of the democratic coalition of tennessee introduced this original. that's why they feel if they can hit the 217 number they'll get more democrats to support this. the idea is, once this passes the house, the debt limit would be extended to may 19th and possibly worked on afterwards, but if the senate does not come up with a budget by april 17th,
9:24am
any salaries would go into an escrow account until 2014. it's not really no budget, no pay, it's just no budget, you'll get your money later, because we legally have to give it to you. in the senate, those guys are straight cash. i don't think a lot of them are worrying too much if they lost their government pay. >> luke russert with the phrase of the day, those guys in the senate are straight cash. i have to introduce our friend joining the panel now, fresh from a stalled amtrak train in new jersey, msnbc contributor and "the huffington post" political editor sam stein. >> great to be here. i was loving the amtrak train, but this is better. >> magical place, my friend. >> what were we talking about? >> i'll clue you in. basically, the republican strategy to push the fight over sequesters and the continuing resolution, is it a good one for the republicans? it would seem to be a wise or prudent choice, given sort of the leverage they have right
9:25am
now. they've managed to attach this interesting budget piece to it. is this the good move, the right move for them? >> i think so. i'm not a polling expert, but i can only imagine if you're conditioned for not, you know, tanking the global economies, that doesn't poll pretty well. what this means is we're going to have a government shutdown, at least it seems likely we will have a government shutdown over the continuing resolution that's going to come up at the end of march. i'm not sure it's the greatest ground for them. i think people are very tired of brinksmanship and they want to have civil, reasonable, negotiations. we'll see if this four-month, three-month delay, whatever it is, will get us down that track, but i don't think holding the debt ceiling hostage is smart. >> i don't think the goal is actually -- i agreed with something scarborough said this morning, this is a shrewd political move. all they've done is shifted this whole debacle a few months.
9:26am
what's to say now we're going to have a couple months of rational, thoughtful budget discussion? i don't think so. >> that's the question, it is delaying -- it's getting a cavity or a root canal -- filled cavity or root canal. i'm not a dentist, obviously. >> you know which one's which. >> i really do. >> i've had both. >> in terms of the politico story that jake wrote, behind the scenes, boehner was able to rally -- we think, unless it blows up in his face. is that spirit of unity going to continue to the pri mord yal battle over the deficit and spend something. >> it's the real x-factor. i would not dare to predict, i think sam is right, there's a real danger -- >> that's a first. >> i do think it's true that they are in the danger zone right now. i think government shutdown might seem more palatable, but
9:27am
it's not really, because this is sort of asking the person at home to differentiate whether you would think a cavity is good or a root canal is worse, they are all bad. >> which would you rather have? >> they are all bad. it's too hard to say right now in terms of if boehner is going to be able to herd his flock, but i think it's in everybody's interest. >> in one sense, boehner is putting a lot of the burden on mitch mcconnell and harry reid. okay, you do your thing, then we'll consider it. for a while it had been boehner versus obama, and boehner has come to -- no? >> he was chiming in, no, no, that wisdom has proved him correct. is that what you were saying, luke? >> i'm sorry. i was talking to the producer in my ear. you saw live tv mishap. sam stein is never wrong. i'm apologizing to him for that. >> never been happier to be off amtrak than this. boehner versus obama, boehner versus obama. the speaker is always going to be at a lesser hand against the
9:28am
president for various reasons, and what he's basically said is, okay, let's let the senate do its thing and we'll consider it. they've become the senate in the usual case of they are the cooling saucer for legislation. everything is going to go to them as a final stage. i think that's tactically smart. >> in terms of long-term implications for the republican party, everybody's been saying after the election, maybe they can get it together, circle the wagons, come up with a new position, new policies. >> this gives them more time to work on this. i don't have any ideas for them on that, i got to tell you. good luck. >> luke, how much -- i mean, we played that sound from rush limbaugh, rush limbaugh is the mayor of planet crazy, but at the same time, he does speak for -- you know this, house caucus, there are people, yesterday mo brooks plans to oppose this, he has a serious problem on his hands. to what degree are they going to be placated or feel they need to
9:29am
put party or country before primary? >> that doesn't apply to these folks. we say to the term "chuckle heads" sort of in a joking manner, but that's what they are referred to now. this apocalyptic group, which will not move forward on anything, and because the margins are smaller now, you see that in the house of representatives. what i find fascinating is the democrats' ability to hold their members and say, look, let's try and splinter the house gop. let's try and make them seem extreme. if you put this up for a vote, there's a lot of members, especially the blue dogs that would go along with it in two seconds, but they are going to hold, make them go to 217. i don't think these folks -- if they don't move on this, how are they going to move on funding the government and replace the sequester, they like the sequester cuts. they don't have problems in regards to cutting to defense and some of the social programs. those folks aren't going to move, and i think that's a real story of this era, how you have
9:30am
this really small minority within a minority that has grasped so much power and has really brought washington to a standstill on so many issues. >> and has effectively forced moderate republicans to be sort of live and die by democratic sorts, to get the legislation through. >> that's the story, do those moderate republicans, i call them the cole caucus, tom cole, there's about 65 of them if boehner puts them on the floor, they can literally do whatever they wanted. are they worried about being primaried? do they keep themselves together like they did over the fiscal cliff. that's interesting to see over the 115th congress. >> we'll see. my friend, it's, like, 17 degrees in new york right now, i know it's chilly in washington. are you wearing boat shoes? >> no, but i do walk in to nobu like it's whole foods. >> quoting kanye west, we have to leave it there. >> i want the intro song next time. pay the royalty, play it for me. >> thank you, luke, we'll be in
9:31am
touch with you later. coming up, wayne lapierre portends a nefarious obama administration gun grab. we'll try to better understand lapierre's factually challenging argument and head-scratching logic just ahead. ♪ i'd like to thank eating right, whole grain, multigrain cheerios! mom, are those my jeans? [ female announcer ] people who choose more whole grain tend to weigh less than those who don't. multigrain cheerios
9:32am
looks like you're in a pickle. yeah. can you get me out of it ? just so happens i know a chap... book any flight and hotel together and get access to our free personal concierge service. any need, any question, we're on call 24/7. we create easy-to-use, powerful trading tools for all. look at these streaming charts! they're totally customizable and they let you visualize what might happen next. that's genius! we knew you needed a platform that could really help you elevate your trading. so we built it. chances of making this? it's a lot easier to find out if a trade is potentially profitable. just use our trade & probability calculator and there it is. for all the reasons you trade options -
9:33am
from income to risk management to diversification - you'll have the tools to get it done. strategies. chains. positions. we put 'em all on one screen! could we make placing a trade any easier? mmmm...could we? around here, options are everything. yes mom, i'll place a long call to you tomorrow. i promise. open an account today and get a free 13-month eibd™ subscription when you call 1-888-280-0159 now. optionsxpress by charles schwab. and they won't be beginners for long. give a couple beginners a great idea, they'll go to where they can get the skills, the savings, and the supplies they need - to go from beginning... to doing... to beautifully done. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. right now this shaker vanity cabinet is a special buy at just one hundred, ninety-nine dollars. call (star star)thd to shop now.
9:34am
when you lost the thing you can't believe you lost.. when what you just bought, just broke. or when you have a little trouble a long way from home... as an american express cardmember you can expect some help. but what you might not expect, is you can get all this with a prepaid card. spends like cash. feels like membership. in the wake of newtown, the nra's wayne lapierre, the philosopher behind the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, focused his gimmlet eye on the entertainment industry. >> a thousand music videos, and you all know this, portray life as a joke, and they play murder,
9:35am
portray murder, as a way of life. and then they all have the nerve to call it entertainment. but is that what it really is? isn't fantasizing about killing people as a way to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography? >> last night, the gun lobby's chief wordsmith directed his criticism towards president obama and his inaugural message. we will discuss coming up next. my insurance rates are probably gonna double. but, dad, you've got... [ voice of dennis ] allstate. with accident forgiveness, they guarantee your rates won't go up just because of an accident. smart kid. [ voice of dennis ] indeed. are you in good hands? marie callender's gives you a way to make any day a special occasion. new mini cream pies for one. real whip cream and a cookie-crumb crust.
9:36am
marie callender's. it's time to savor.
9:37am
9:38am
to help protect your eye health as you age... would you take it? well, there is. [ male announcer ] it's called ocuvite. a vitamin totally dedicated to your eyes, from the eye care experts at bausch + lomb. as you age, eyes can lose vital nutrients. ocuvite helps replenish key eye nutrients. ocuvite has a unique formula not found in your multivitamin to help protect your eye health. now that's a pill worth taking. [ male announcer ] ocuvite. help protect your eye health. he wants to put every private personal firearms transaction right under the thumb of the federal government, and he wants to keep all of those names in a massive federal registry. there's only two reasons for a federal list on gun owners, to
9:39am
either tax them or take them. it's the only reason. >> the return of wayne lapierre. the nra vice president offered a rebuttal to president obama's inaugural address, speaking from las vegas on the same day that a shooting in a texas college put the campus on lockdown and wounded three. in addition to attacking the president's proposal for universal background checks, incidentally supported by 9 out of 10 americans, lapierre took issue with this line out of the president's speech. >> for now, time is upon us and we cannot afford delay. we cannot mistake absolutism for principle or substitute spectacle for politics or treat name calling as reasoned debate. >> a call for an end to ideological intransigence and refusals to compromise was in wayne lapierre's estranged distorted view on an attempt to deface the constitution.
9:40am
>> obama wants to turn the idea of absolutism into a dirty word, just another word for extremism. he wants you, all of you, and americans throughout all of this country, to accept the idea of principles as he sees fit. when absolutes are abandoned for principles, the u.s. constitution becomes a blank slate for anyone's graffiti. >> just to clarify, absolutism, good. principles, bad. hugo, every time wayne lapierre comes out, i think he can't possibly top what he said last time, and yet -- >> that's the best you've seen from wayne lapierre. >> when you stand on principles, the u.s. constitution becomes a blank slate that you can deface with your own ideological graffiti. >> right, sort of gets the urban blight kind of spectacle there, people coming at you. >> loaded metaphors. >> right, right. >> we were talking about this during the break, this, apparently, is a working
9:41am
strategy for the nra. >> it's working for wayne lapierre, too. that's what's incredible. it is -- it rings strange and weird, you know, to me, but, obviously, as maggie and i were discussing, it seems to be effective for his membership and they wield an awful lot of power, despite being a minority opinion. >> when you look at the background checks, 9 out of 10 americans support that. there are a lot of people in the nra, but 90% of the country is not in the nra. so where is the disconnect here, is it just because the nra has more money or is better organized? i do think there's been an infliction point since newtown, sam. >> part of what the nra has been very effective at is creating a boogey man obama, this is what he's going to do. what wayne lapierre was talking about there, the federal database, i'm pretty sure that's not in the president's proposal to have a federal database of every gun that's owned. he does want to do background checks, but there's things obama
9:42am
could have done that he didn't, such as constricting the sales of guns one to a week. if we're talking about absolutisms, we have to ask, does wayne lapierre support no background checks, is he comfortable with mentally insane people buying grenade launchers? i don't think anyone, including virtually all of the nra membership, is comfortable with no regulations whatsoever, but that's what wayne lapierre, i thought, was saying last night. >> what is strange to me and somewhat disconcerting, it's not just wayne lapierre that is forwarding this kind of language. this is an e-mail from mitch mcconnell to his supporters. "dear patriot, you and i are literally surrounded. the gun grabbers in the senate are about to launch an all-out assault on the second amendment. my friend, our freedom is on direct assault. from those who want to shred our constitution, and as our good friend rand paul from connecticut says, from those who
9:43am
want to be king." it's worth noting that was written by jesse benton, who used to work for rand paul. that's incredible incendiary rhetoric from mitch mcconnell. who's up for reelection in 2014 and probably gets a lot of money from the nra. >> yes, fair, this is a campaign e-mail. but he's also in charge of legislating, saying he wants to shred the constitution, grab the guns, and wants to be king. >> this is the kind of dangerous rhetoric. if you listen to what lapierre was saying last night, and i'll admit it was hard. he totally distorted what the president was actually talking about, right, and that's what the nra does so well, sort of twisting and distorting and creating this hysteria. the president's point, if you listen to the whole quote, we can't not try. we can't perfect be the enemy of the good. the irony of that, the argument from the nra has been all the recommendations the president put out wouldn't have stopped newtown, so why are we doing
9:44am
that, but i tell you what, they might have stopped the shooter yesterday at the community college in houston. >> gun owners, you know, they are very sincere people. i've talked to a bunch of them at these shows. they generally love the ability to own firearms and it's totally sincere. what motivates them more than anything else is the concept of the government coming in and telling them what they can and cannot do. what wayne lapierre is doing is essentially playing on the p primal fear for a political purpose. >> how much that eats up ground for compromise, saying harry reid is probably going to bring this to the floor of the senate, which allows everybody to sort of add and take away what they don't like. maggie, in terms of being bullish or bearish on measurable gun safety reform, which one are you? >> i'm pretty bearish. i do think there's a chance there will be something, but i don't know how close it will be to what the president would like it to be.
9:45am
i think there's a chance where you could have republicans say, see, we were reasonable on this, we were standing up to the nra, but it will not include, you know, serious items that democrats would like to see. it's possible. >> i think maggie's correct, and i think the issue is that there's not just one bill to pass. if you're serious about gun control in this country, this is a fight that's going to take years and years. it looks like what's going to come out of this is going to be modest at best. >> we shall see. coming up after the break, wow, beyonce it ain't so is lip syncing the inaugural anthem. a pop star fail? we will debate just ahead. the boys use capital one venture miles for their annual football trip. that's double miles you can actually use. tragically, their buddy got sacked by blackouts. but it's our tradition! that's roughing the card holder. but with the capital one venture card
9:46am
you get double miles you can actually use. [ cheering ] any flight, anytime. the scoreboard doesn't lie. what's in your wallet? hut! i have me on my fantasy team. that's a good thing, but it doesn't cover everything. only about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. so consider an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement plans, they pick up some of what medicare doesn't pay. and save you up to thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs. call today to request a free decision guide to help you better understand what medicare is all about. and which aarp medicare supplement plan works best for you. with these types of plans, you'll be able to visit any doctor or hospital that accepts medicare patients...
9:47am
plus, there are no networks, and you'll never need a referral to see a specialist. there's a range of plans to choose from, too. and they all travel with you. anywhere in the country. join the millions who have already enrolled in the only medicare supplement insurance plans endorsed by aarp, an organization serving the needs of people 50 and over for generations... and provided by unitedhealthcare insurance company, which has over 30 years of experience behind it. call today. remember, medicare supplement insurance helps cover some of what medicare doesn't pay -- expenses that could really add up. these kinds of plans could save you up to thousands in out-of-pocket costs... you'll be able choose any doctor who accepts medicare patients. and you never need referrals. so don't wait. with all the good years ahead, look for the experience and commitment
9:48am
to go the distance with you. call now to request your free decision guide. this easy-to-understand guide will answer some of your questions, and help you find the aarp medicare supplement plan that's right for you. o we replaced people with a machine.r, what? customers didn't like it. so why do banks do it? hello? hello?! if your bank doesn't let you talk to a real person 24/7, you need an ally. hello? ally bank. your money needs an ally. there's nothing more distracting than hearing your recorded self singing while you're trying to pretend that
9:49am
your live self is singing. ♪ and the rockets' red glare ♪ the bombs bursting in air ♪ gave proof through the night that our flag was still there ♪ >> we will discuss beyonce's star-spangled snafu next. hi i'm terry, and i have diabetic nerve pain. i worked a patrol unit for 17 years in the city of baltimore. when i first started experiencing the pain, it's hard to describe because you have a numbness but yet you have the pain like thousands of needles sticking in your foot. it was progressively getting worse, and at that point, i knew i had to do something. when i went back to my health care professional, that's when she suggested the lyrica. once i started taking the lyrica, the pain started subsiding.
9:50am
[ male announcer ] it's known that diabetes damages nerves. lyrica is fda approved to treat diabetic nerve pain. lyrica is not for everyone. it may cause serious allergic reactions or suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worsening depression, or unusual changes in mood or behavior. or swelling, trouble breathing, rash, hives, blisters, changes in eye sight including blurry vision, muscle pain with fever, tired feeling, or skin sores from diabetes. common side effects are dizziness, sleepiness, weight gain, and swelling of hands, legs, and feet. don't drink alcohol while taking lyrica. don't drive or use machinery until you know how lyrica affects you. those who've had a drug or alcohol problem may be more likely to misuse lyrica. ask your doctor about lyrica today. it's specific treatment for diabetic nerve pain. to hear more of terry's story, visit lyrica.com. your soups are so awesomely delicious my husband and i can't stop eating 'em! what's...that... on your head? can curlers! tomato basil, potato with bacon... we've got a lot of empty cans.
9:51am
[ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
9:52am
reports are swirling that beyonce's rousing rendition of "the star-spangled banner" at monday's inauguration was actually a prerecorded version she taped at a marine corps studio sunday night. i, sam stein, am outraged by this. i think it's bogus, and if she wasn't actually singing, they
9:53am
could have had you on stage just lip syncing. >> i don't know if it would have been the same. who cares? i mean, it was her voice. we know that, right? it was a recorded voice, it was beyonce. they played it, everyone enjoyed it. the idea she's the first person to do this is absurd. >> add an inauguration. >> jay-z, i'd love to accompany you to a nets' game, i'm defending your wife here. >> please, turn off the tv. the marine band had to fake their horn playing. >> yeah, that's not good. >> it is icky. >> do we know this? i don't mean to harp on this point, but i'm seeing someone fiddle with their earpiece. >> we don't know if she was making actual noise, whether actual vocals were coming from her mouth live. we do know she recorded the track and that's what we, the television viewing audience, heard. for that, i feel duped.
9:54am
>> that's in her favor, we were talking about milly vanilly. that's not that situation. >> thank god. >> but the comparison to be even in the same bucket at milly vanilly. >> it's a different bucket. >> now that j-lo and aretha franklin have come to her defense, it's going to quiet this. >> was the recording -- did she do a good job with the recording, yes or no? >> yes, but she was in a studio. >> so what. that's all that matters. >> kelly clarkson went there and sang her little lungs out, james taylor did. >> james taylor did not lip sync, i know that. >> she's pretending to sing and she's really not. >> it's symbolic. >> perfect symbolism, right? >> poetic symbolism. karen, thank you for putting a thoughtful spin on a thoughtless move by the pop star. >> harsh. >> thank you to karen, sam,
9:55am
maggie, and hugo. that's all for now. see you back here tomorrow when i'm joined by richard wolffe, jonathan capehart, lee gallagher. until then, find us at facebook.com/nowwithalex. "andrea mitchell reports" is coming up next. but when i started losing energy and became moody... that's when i had an honest conversation with my doctor. we discussed all the symptoms... then he gave me some blood tests. showed it was low t. that's it. it was a number -- not just me. [ male announcer ] today, men with low t have androgel 1.62% (testosterone gel). the #1 prescribed topical testosterone replacement therapy, increases testosterone when used daily. women and children should avoid contact with application sites. discontinue androgel and call your doctor if you see unexpected signs of early puberty in a child, or signs in a woman, which may include changes in body hair or a large increase in acne, possibly due to accidental exposure.
9:56am
men with breast cancer or who have or might have prostate cancer, and women who are or may become pregnant or are breastfeeding, should not use androgel. serious side effects include worsening of an enlarged prostate, possible increased risk of prostate cancer, lower sperm count, swelling of ankles, feet, or body, enlarged or painful breasts, problems breathing during sleep, and blood clots in the legs. tell your doctor about your medical conditions and medications, especially insulin, corticosteroids, or medicines to decrease blood clotting. so...what do men do when a number's too low? turn it up! [ male announcer ] in a clinical study, over 80% of treated men had their t levels restored to normal. talk to your doctor about all your symptoms. get the blood tests. change your number. turn it up. androgel 1.62%. get the blood tests. change your number. turn it up. morning, boys. so, i'm working on a cistern intake valve, and the guy hands me a locknut wrench. no way! i'm like, what is this, a drainpipe slipknot? wherever your business takes you, nobody keeps you on the road like progressive commercial auto.
9:57am
[ flo speaking japanese ] [ shouting in japanese ] we work wherever you work. now, that's progressive. call or click today. we create easy to use, powerful trading tools for all. look at these streaming charts! they're totally customizable and they let you visualize what might happen next. that's genius! strategies, chains, positions. we put 'em all on one screen! could we make placing a trade any easier? mmmm...could we? open an account today and get a free 13-month e ibd™ subscription when you call 1-888-280-0157 now. optionsxpress by charles schwab.
9:58am
right now on "andrea mitchell reports," after a concussion and a blood clot, finally the long-awaited answers on benghazi. facing the senate, secretary of
9:59am
state hillary clinton shows the tragedies human toll. >> for me, this is not just a matter of policy, it's personal. i stood next to president obama as the marines carried those flag-draped caskets off the plane at andrews. i put my arms around the mothers and fathers, the sisters and brothers, the sons and daughters, and the wives left alone to raise their children. >> but when the testimony and the questions got tough, she fired back at republicans, still accusing susan rice and the administration of a coverup in the days following the assault. >> we were misled that there were supposedly protests and then something sprang out of that and assaults sprang out of that, and that was easily ascertained that that was not the fact, and the american people could have known that within days, and they didn't know that. >> with all due respected, the fact is, we had four dead